This is a condition in which small fluid-filled sacs called bursae become inflamed. Bursae protect tendons and muscles as they move over bone.
Bursitis occurs when the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs, become inflamed (red and swollen). Bursae are located near joints and usually cover the parts of the bones that can irritate other structures. For instance, they help cushion and protect the muscles and tendons as they move over the bone. Sometimes swelling and inflammation of a bursa comes on suddenly and lasts for a short time (acute). Sometimes it lasts a long time and/or keeps coming back (chronic). Some of the common causes of bursitis include:
Bursitis most often develops in the shoulder, knee, elbow and hip. It is more common in joints that frequently undergo repetitive motions or are put in positions that irritate the bursae. Some of the symptoms associated with bursitis include:
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of bursitis. He or she will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. Bursitis is usually diagnosed with a physical exam; imaging studies are not usually needed. However, your healthcare provider may order imaging studies (X-ray or MRI) to rule out other problems. They may also recommend lab work to try and find the cause of your symptoms. Treatment can include:
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of bursitis.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives, and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects). If surgery is recommended, you should understand why that recommendation was made. Seek a second opinion if necessary.
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